The Denver Broncos surely regret trusting Damarri Mathis too much
I never really saw many people, if anyone, pay much attention to the CB2 spot for the Denver Broncos this offseason. The team had cut Ronald Darby and saved $10 million on their cap space. Mathis was then slated to take over for Darby at the CB2 spot, and there was reason to be excited about him. His promising rookie year opposite Patrick Surtain II gave us hope that he could simply take the next step in 2023.
Well, it became very evident early on that Mathis isn't a starting-caliber CB at this point, and may not even be a CB3 player. It took the Broncos a while to send Mathis to the bench, but when they did, the defense improved. Veteran CB Fabian Moreau has been pretty solid for the Broncos this year in three starts. He's got one interception and four passes defensed in 207 defensive snaps.
Damarri Mathis has 0 interceptions and one pass defended on 426 defensive snaps in 2023. Part of the defense's resurgence is also due to slot CB Ja'Quan McMillian, but Moreau deserves a ton of credit, too. Honestly, would the Broncos' defense have started as bad as they did in 2023 if Moreau began the year as the starter instead of Mathis?
It's a worthy discussion. Either way, I'm glad the Denver Broncos recognized that Damarri Mathis was a huge liability in coverage and removed him from the starting lineup. It's for the better.